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Ponta Delgada ,  March 06, 2019

Regional Environment Inspectorate makes positive assessment of 2018 activities

The Regional Environment Inspectorate (IRA) carried out 157 inspection actions last year: 137 in programmed actions and the remaining 20 in non-programmed actions.
Unplanned inspections accounted for about 13% of the overall number of inspections conducted, being the result complaints, environmental incidents or institutional requests.
Regarding the inspections covered by planned actions, the area that registered the highest number of inspections was the retail sector - "commercial establishments" - accounting for 66% of overall inspections. This situation was mainly due to the ongoing verification of the compliance with the ecotax applicable to plastic bags.
Waste management activities, agriculture and animal husbandry activities, food and beverage industry, electricity production, car repair activities, transportation and storage, hospitals and similar units, land management planning and cold storage facilities were other sectors covered by these inspection actions.
Last year, 116 complaints were lodged by several entities, resulting in 27 follow-up inspections.
The main situations reported concern waste, agriculture and animal husbandry, alleged illegal activities, noise, protected areas, protected and exotic species, wastewater discharges and atmospheric emissions.
The complaints received are analysed and may processed in three different ways. Situations addressing matters that fall out the IRA's jurisdiction are forwarded to the competent authorities, complaints may be closed if the situation reported is not illegal from an environmental standpoint and situations pointing to illegal environmental practices are investigated by IRA, through inspection actions.
Last year, 330 official reports were issued by other entities, most of which were issued by the Nature and Environment Protection Services of GNR (National Republican Guard) and the Nature Watchers of the Directorate for the Environment.
This entity filed 161 new infraction cases and issued a final decision on 90 pending cases. Regarding the latter, 22 cases, i.e., 24% were closed, while the remaining 68 resulted in the application of penalties: admonition (2%), fine (38%) and imposition of fine with additional penalty or fine suspension (36%).
The fines amounted to 106,050 Euros.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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